A while back I started doing yoga. One of the benefits of working where I do is that there is a free yoga class twice a week. The class is usually small (5 people or so), and our instructor is excellent. I really couldn't ask for a better setup.

Our class starts with a warm-up, then some more challenging poses, some core work, some stretching, and finally savasana. (That's roughly how it goes. It is different every time.) It's been a few months now, and the fact that I'm still doing it should tell you that I enjoy it. Every yoga practice has been challenging, and a good work-out. I always feel it the next day. It's great. The trick behind yoga seems to be to make yourself work hard even when doing a simple pose. At first you struggle just to do the pose. When you're more advanced you struggle to get all the nuances right. Then (I assume) you struggle to incorporate every part of the body into the pose.

Aside from the fact that it's fun (in a sometimes painful you-want-me-to-do-what? kind of way), it's hard for me to point to something where yoga really helps me. I have gotten somewhat more flexible (most noticeably in the hamstrings although I still can't touch my toes unless I'm warmed up), and my balance has improved. But that mostly comes down to me getting better at yoga. I've got to believe it helps me in other sports as well, I just haven't been doing them consistently enough to be able to
attribute an improvement to yoga. The only thing I have noticed recently is that I can work our pepper mill for a lot longer until I feel like my wrists are about to fall off. That's really helpful when making split pea soup.